Yes, says PandaLabs, Panda Security’s malware analysis and detection laboratory. It estimates in a statement today (May 22) that nearly 30,000 videos on YouTube are with comments containing links that point to a Web page designed to download malware. 

This is another example, it says, of how cyber-criminals are attacking popular Web 2.0 sites to distribute malware. Similar attacks have previously been seen, to a lesser extent, on sites including Digg.com and Facebook, informs PandaLabs.

“The technique of using malicious comments on YouTube is not new,” explains Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “What is alarming however is the quantity of links we have detected pointing to the same Web page. This suggests that cyber-criminals are using automation tools to publish these comments.”

The comments are normally suggestive, claiming that the link will take users to a legal Web page with pornographic content. However, when users click the link, they are taken to a page that spoofs the original and which is really designed to download malware. 

On this page, users will be prompted to download a file in order to view the video. If they take the bait, users will really be downloading a copy of the PrivacyCenter fake antivirus.

This malware, when run on a computer, pretends to scan the system, supposedly detecting dozens of (non-existent) viruses. It then offers users the chance to buy the paid version of the antivirus to clean their computers. The ultimate aim of cyber crooks is to profit from the sale of this ‘Premium’ version of the fake software.

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About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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